Monday 16 January 2012

See you in a few weeks.

We're all off to a meeting in Aberdeen on Thursday, so we've started the travel now with Susannah and Grace flying off this afternoon, whilst I will take to the high seas tomorrow morning. Last year saw my two trips on the Good Shepherd result in a 50% strike rate for seasickness, so hopefully I can get 2012 off to a good start as the forecast is pretty reasonable... Having just missed Humpback Whales in several places, it looks like I could do the same again this week as there are two lingering off Balmedie, which we will sail past on the Northlink Ferry on Thursday morning - in the dark. I fully expect them to be breaching off Sheep Rock by Friday as well.
Whilst I may sneak in a blog post next week if anything exciting happens on my travels, it is likely that this will be it until early February, so here are a few pictures from recent days to keep you going! 

Two Glaucous Gulls on the South Haven seal.

The Iceland Gulls are still around, a maximum day count of seven has been made so far, although more individuals have been involved.

Sadly two Iceland Gulls have been found dead on South Haven, it seems that they are struggling to find food (we'll send one off for post mortem, so we should find out more about that). The ones Tommy are watching here were trying to catch flies on the shore, bit showed no interest in the variety of crusts and kitchen scraps lobbed in their direction.
There hasn't been much in the way of new birds coming through, but this Grey Heron over the Havens this afternoon was new and species number 48 on the year list.
With a few days of calm weather, some seabirds have been returning to the cliffs. Fulmars are everywhere and can be heard cackling from the Obs.
Guillemots were also back on the cliffs on Saturday, hopefully they'll have a better breeding season this year, but the trend at the moment is not positive.
Grey Seals are a resident around Fair Isle, whatever the weather there are usually at least a few lounging on one or two of the beaches, these ones were at Wirvie.
Another beautiful sunset tonight, which seems like a fitting (or suitable cliched at least) way to end the last blog post for a couple of weeks.

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